Washington, D.C.–Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following remarks today on the Senate floor on Republican efforts to block reauthorization of the job-creating Economic Development Authority. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
Democrats in the Senate hoped to spend this week creating jobs. Republicans are doing everything they can to make sure we can’t.
They think that standing in the way like this will hurt Democrats. They’re wrong. It hurts all Americans: families, business owners, the middle-class, the unemployed – everyone.
We planned to work this week on debating and reauthorizing the Economic Development Administration, which for more than 45 years has created jobs where they’re most needed: in economically distressed communities. In just the last five years, it’s created 300,000 jobs.
This was our first bill of this new work period because creating jobs is our first priority. But Republicans are stopping us from moving to it because creating jobs is the last thing they care to do.
The merits of reauthorizing this job-creating administration are clear. EDA works with businesses, universities and leaders at the local level, so it creates jobs from the bottom up. It helps manufacturers and producers compete in the global marketplace. And it’s a great investment: every dollar from EDA attracts seven dollars in private-sector investment. That’s an incredible return rate.
The American people demand that we create jobs. They sent us here to create jobs. Democrats are ready to work, but we can’t do it alone.
Just last week, Republicans pointed to a new jobs report and demanded the Senate keep our focus on growing the economy. We agree, and that’s exactly what this bill will do. But now those same Republicans are standing in the way.
And why are they standing in the way? Because they demand we end Medicare in order to pay for more tax breaks for millionaires. Their priorities couldn’t be more backward.
This isn’t the first time Republicans have done everything they can to try to stop us from creating jobs. Earlier this year we brought a bill to the floor that would help small businesses innovate, invent and invest in new jobs. Republicans simply said “no.”
I’ve never seen such irresponsible legislating in all my time here. The American people are watching, and they’re waiting for their leaders to act. Democrats are waiting for Republicans to drop these charades and finally get to work.
Democrats are ready to create jobs. We’ve done it before, with programs like the Economic Development Administration, and we’re ready to do it again. The American people are desperate for stable and secure jobs. All they ask of us is that we do ours.